© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Comcast NBC logo is shown on a building in Los Angeles, California, U.S. June 13, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
By Eva Mathews and Helen Coster
(Reuters) – Comcast Corp (NASDAQ:CMCSA)’s third-quarter revenue edged past Wall Street’s expectations on Thursday, thanks to a steady rebound in its theme parks and studios businesses, but sluggish broadband subscriber growth and a decline in advertising sales continue to weigh on the media company.
Comcast added 14,000 broadband customers in the quarter, compared to the hundreds of thousands it gained at the peak of the pandemic, due to competition from telecom giants such as Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and T-Mobile US (NASDAQ:TMUS) Inc that have been promoting attractive offers on wireless and internet plans to price-conscious Americans who are grappling with inflation.
The company’s media unit, NBCUniversal, reported a 35.1% drop in advertising sales, compared to the same quarter a year ago when it broadcast the Olympics and Super Bowl. It reported 15 million paid subscribers for its Peacock streaming service, up from 13 million in the previous quarter.
Total company revenue fell 1.5% to $29.85 billion in the quarter, compared with estimates of $29.65 billion, according to Refinitiv data.
Net loss attributable to Comcast was $4.6 billion, or $1.05 per share, compared with a profit of $4.04 billion, or 86 cents per share, a year earlier.
The net loss was partly due to an $8.6 billion goodwill impairment charge in its UK pay-TV company, Sky. The charge is due to the current fair market value of Sky that it is operating in a European market riddled with political uncertainty, record-high interest rates and an energy crisis.
However, excluding items, Comcast earned 96 cents per share.
Comcast’s studios business’ profit tripled to $537 million in the quarter, driven by the success of films such as “Jurassic World: Dominion” and “Minions: The Rise of Gru”.
NBCUniversal’s theme parks division generated $2.06 billion in revenue, versus $1.45 billion a year ago.